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8 things I wish I knew before marriage

Last updated on: March 14, 2013 14:38 IST

8 things I wish I knew before marriage

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Aditi Bose

Here's what every girl should know about marriage while dating.

I had my list ready. But before I began writing this article, I decided to ask around and see what my friends and relatives wished they knew before marriage as well. Here's the top eight from a girl's point of view.

This is a girl's perspective. All the men out there, we would love to know your thoughts too.


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1. When boyfriends become husbands they WILL change

My best friend of over twenty years came to me a few months back saying what I had heard many times before: "My husband has changed. He's not what he used to be. I so wish I could get the old him back."

Let me tell you, it is not just her. Most wives have had this complaint some time or the other. The point is that when they are our boyfriends they want to help around driving us for office interviews, hang around choosing clothes for us and plan camping trips with us. However, when they get married something changes and suddenly they feel that they have got someone who is going to be their sex partner, who will bear their kids and who will be around to cook and clean the house.

It just does not register in their heads that the wife might be wanting some help with cleaning the dishes instead of seeing him vanish into his den to watch a soccer match. I guess they feel that nothing changes for them after marriage. They feel that they can still continue with all their social outings as before. Just that now they have the added perk of having someone wait for them at home with a hot meal.

Or, then again, maybe it is all up there in our minds. Maybe they really are the same person. Maybe it is the veil from our eyes that gets removed once the knot is tied. But by then it is too late.


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2. Marriage is NOT a 'honeymoon in bed'

A colleague from work tells me: "I wish I knew that the mush was all a fake before marriage. I wish I knew that I would be getting up from bed on most days even without a good morning kiss from my husband."

OK you might have been looking forward to a lot of mush and coochie-cooing in bed but it won't last for more than a couple of days.

Why?

Either because the both of you are working and if you plan to continue to make both ends meet then you will have to return to your jobs at the earliest. So you forget about your 'bedtime' and get busy grabbing a cup of tea in the morning and blowing a kiss before driving off for work.

But, if you are amongst the 'lucky' few who don't have to go for work, then rest assured that you will be making an elaborate breakfast for your husband or the likes. And if you do finally see that you have a few minutes left to squeeze in a few cuddles before he has to get up, the doorbell rings and your servant arrives.

In fact, once you are well past a year into your marriage you will realise that even falling asleep in the blissful embrace of your husband's arms doesn't seem so enchanting after all.

As shocking as it may sound to newlyweds -- sleeping is not really a team sport. Each one has his or her own 'best sleeping position' and sleeping entwined will begin to seem quite uncomfortable.

A piece of advice: Tell your husband in the beginning itself to not treat you like his side pillow.


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3. Be FAIR when you fight

A friend says, "All my life I have got my way yelling or crying. But now I realise that it does not work with my husband. How I wish I knew how to win my battles differently."

You might have got married to the love of your life or you might be completely besotted with your husband despite an arranged marriage. Irrespective, fights will happen.

When two people with different personalities belonging to different families and sometimes even religion and regions decide to stay under the same roof day in and day out (read get married) then differences will crop up.

Just remember when that happens, fight fairly.

Tough as it may be, don't use the female weapon of crying and yelling. It does not work. When wives scream, husbands have the uncanny ability to tune off.

Also, even if you have a strong memory, try and forget the dates, days, time and the issues of your fights from eons ago. Learn to bury the hatchet and forgive. At the end of the day, there really is no use holding onto anger and bitterness towards the person who you have to spend the rest of your life with.


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4. Be ready to adjust to his MANNERISMS

My husband expects me to share his toothbrush," one friend said as another added, "I have told him that I find this disgusting but he refuses to listen," a friend of mine says wistfully when I ask her what she wished she knew before she got married.

When you are unmarried you get to meet the man only for a few hours in the day. So it is natural that you will not be aware of all his quirky mannerisms. But once you get married prepare yourself for a surprise.

He will snore or fart in his sleep, he will tell you that he has to be the first one to read the morning paper, he will take magazines to the toilet and forget to close the door etc. You can either cringe and shout or explain to him how gross you find these habits.

As long as the man is a bachelor he is entitled to living his life the ways he wants to. But what they forget is that these will, and should, change once they are sharing the home with another person. But they don't realise it. Guess it's up to us to make him understand. 


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5. GIFTS will become minimal

An older member from my family cribs: "My husband stopped giving me gifts soon after we got married. Now I go out and buy myself gifts. But I miss his surprise gifts."

You might have experienced the joys of having received expensive gifts from your man before you got married to him. But now that you are his, don't expect it to happen too often -- maybe just once in a blue moon. Unless, of course, you are fortunate enough to have married a super rich and generous fellow.

Why does this happen? Simple. Once you are married to him, he feels (and you should feel too since you belong to the family now) that the money should be either productively spent on necessities or invested for future benefits.

It was not the same before marriage though -- you were a 'future investment' then and hence buying you expensive gifts was 'productive use'.


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6. Husbands are still men -- they continue to have ROVING EYES

A friend (and I would say that she is hands down sexy) says, "My husband can't stop looking at other women. Why? Look at me. Have I put on weight?"

The reason is simple. Don't think that just because he's married you he will suddenly think that the rest of the members of the fairer sex have turned ugly.

I am not saying that husbands marry one and go and have an affair with another (that group exists but I am letting them be). All I'm trying to say is that even if he's totally loyal to you, he will, I repeat will look when he sees a pretty lady cross his path.

Just don't get too aggressive or excited about it when it happens. They are men and they can't be tamed. So let them be. After all they are just looking.


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7. COUNSELLING during troubled times is not bad

An aunt of mine tells me: "If only I had not been ashamed of marriage counselling maybe I would still have been married to your uncle."

Remember this: If your marriage hits the rocks, don't pack your bags and leave. Leave such animated over dramatic scenes for the movies and serials.

Head for a counsellor instead. Don't feel ashamed to do so. It is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of humility and willingness to learn. Sometimes, in fact, even a common friend can do a wonderful counselling job. Give each other a chance.


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8. DON'T get pregnant in the very first year of your marriage

A cousin told me: "It was perfect when I got married to the guy I loved. I just wish the baby had not happened so soon. Things went haywire when the kid was born. It was such a mistake."

Marriage, until you are married, might seem like a bed of roses to you. But it's a little more than that. It has its ups and downs and a lot of effort goes into making a marriage work. So when you finally tie the knot, give each other time to know each other as husband and wife before thinking of a child.

A baby is a lot of responsibility. Before you decide to take up this responsibility, get your act together where your mind and soul are in sync with your partner. You have your whole life (literally, with today's technology it's almost your whole life) to get the new life into this world.

And before I end, here's my final takeaway message: Always put your marriage first. The rest will all, always, fall into place.


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